Thursday Recruitin' Eagerly Anticipates Ojemudia Eye-Lasering Quarterbacks

Thursday Recruitin' Eagerly Anticipates Ojemudia Eye-Lasering Quarterbacks

Submitted by Ace on December 15th, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Usual request: please contact me via email or Twitter (or leave a comment) with any suggestions, tips, or links you think should show up in next week's recruiting roundup.

I Will Avoid Making a Dunn Pun (Rhyme, On the Other Hand...)

So... that happened:

Five-star tailback Brionte Dunn will honor his commitment to Ohio State and sign with the Buckeyes on National Signing Day.

Bummer, dudes. Dunn wasn't the biggest need on the board, but it would've been really fun to Kalis another recruit from the Buckeyes, especially in slow, painful fashion. Instead, we'll have to live with Team 132's victory while looking for alternatives at running back.

Yes, it appears there's at least one potential alternative, as four-star LB David Perkins was recently contacted ($, info in header)—and offered, according to his player page on Scout—by Michigan as a running back. The 6'2", 210-pound prospect from South Bend is a Notre Dame decommit who had a top five of Ohio State, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan State, and LSU before the new-found interest from Michigan—this is one to keep an eye on.

The Wolverines did host official visitors last weekend, and while most were commits (covered in the next section), they did have a couple targets on campus. Guard Alex Kozan was one of those visitors, and he enjoyed hanging out with guys like Kyle Kalis, Tom Strobel, Caleb Stacey, and A.J. Williams ($, info in header):

"It was a good trip,” Kozan began. “It was good to see everyone. I liked just seeing everyone, meeting the people in person and spending time with some of their commits and players.”

Kozan has also visited Iowa and Ohio State officially and has another visit set for Auburn this weekend—Michigan looks to be right in the thick of things here. The other main target on campus was current Boston College commit Sam Grant, a three-star tight end and also a high school teammate of Kalis ($):

“I had a good time on my visit,” Grant said after leaving.  “There’s a good opportunity there.  I have a lot to think about.”

Grant wants to make a decision "soon," but also said he's going to take more visits. Again, Michigan looks to be in good position, and the ample playing time available at tight end will likely play a factor. Having Kalis on board helps, and Grant also goes "way back" with A.J. Williams from competing in AAU basketball ($, info in header).

Yuri Wright recently stated that Michigan and Colorado were his two leaders, and he took a visit to Boulder last weekend. Glowing quotes? Not so much ($):

“We didn’t really do too much because they had finals week,” Wright said. “We met up with a few people and hung out and went to the basketball game. That was it, really.

“I wish they would have picked a different weekend for me to come out there, but I still had a good time for the most part. I know it’s a good school.”

Wright also sent out some tweets while on the trip that indicated that he wasn't having a Real Good Time. He'll be in Ann Arbor for his official visit January 13-15, and the Wolverines could really establish themselves as the team to beat for the nation's top corner if Wright enjoys his time on campus.

Meanwhile, West Roxbury (MA) Catholic Memorial CB Armani Reeves is back on the radar. The four-star is currently a Penn State commit, but he's monitoring their situation closely and keeping in contact with Michigan and Notre Dame in case he decides to go elsewhere ($, info in header). Curt Mallory is his main recruiter, and Reeves noted that Michigan has done things the right way, not pushing him to decommit but instead just trying to sell him on the program:

“[Mallory] was telling me I’m pretty much the guy if I want to commit there now,” Reeves continued. “He said he’ll be happy if they won’t take anymore guys. They feel like I’m a top corner and they expressed to me I could definitely play early and that’s an option there, and how much the school and coaches really want me.”

Michigan is hoping to get Reeves to schedule an official visit soon.

Quickly: Pharaoh Brown has narrowed his list to Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oregon ($, info in header), and apparently Greg Mattison visited him recently ($), so that door may not be entirely closed; Jordan Diamond really enjoyed his official to Ohio State ($, info in header); Cincinnati Moeller WR Monty Madaris is also down to five schools ($, info in header), with Michigan included along with MSU, Cinci, Kentucky, and FSU; Jordan Payton enjoyed his official to Cal ($, info in header); and happy trails to four-star receiver Darius Powe, who committed to Cal over the weekend ($).

Mario Ojemudia: Deathbacker

Michigan had several commits on campus last week for their official visits, including Mario Ojemudia, who got some clarification about what position he'll play at the collegiate level ($):

With a chance to spend one on one time with his future defensive coordinator, Ojemudia gained a much greater understanding of where he’ll fit into the gameplan.

“I talked to Mattison a lot and he really emphasized what I was going to do,” Ojemudia said. “He told me that I would just be like, he would send me on blitzes like everywhere throughout the defense as a stand-up guy.”

Having watched Ojemudia—an undersized DE with fantastic pass-rushing skills—a couple times this fall, I can't wait to see what he can do as a QB-destroying specialist. [Ed-Seth: If you just thought to yourself "Shawn Crable" you just gained an imaginary MGoLevel.]

Also getting a bit of role clarification was Ojemudia's high school teammate, tight end Devin Funchess ($):

“I talked to them all [the coaches],” said Funchess. “They said I have a high chance of playing early, I just need to come in, get settled in fast, get used to the speed and will have to prove myself on the field. They just told me that in the red zone I would probably be split out and I’ll mostly be at the H back my first year.”

Funchess spent much of his time this season split out as a receiver, so while he'll have to adjust to the H-back role, he should be pretty comfortable in the red zone.

Matt Godin has been one of many commits to take on a role as recruiter, as well, and he gave his guesses on the odds of Michigan's targets who were on campus last weekend eventually committing to the Wolverines ($):

With just a few spots left in the 2012 class, Godin delivers his own percentages in regards to how he see’s things shaking out with the two weekend visitors.

“70 percent (chance he commits) for Alex [Kozan] and 90 percent (chance he commits) for Sam [Grant],” Godin said convincingly.

I'll take those odds.

Quickly: More paywalled visit reactions from A.J. Williams, Tom Strobel, and Allen Gant; James Ross received his Army All-American jersey in a ceremony last week ($, info in header).

I Don't Make Taco Jokes to Anyone Who Stands at 6'7", 245 pounds

Sam Webb's latest feature at the DetNews profiled Pickerington (OH) Central standout DE/OLB Taco Charlton, who grew up a "diehard" Ohio State fan but was rooting for Michigan in The Game because of their recruiting efforts and early offer. The Wolverines currently stand out along with Notre Dame as early favorites to land Charlton, with Ohio State also a possibility if they come through with an offer. As for his game, here's Taco on Taco:

"Right now I'm real good at pass rushing," Charlton said confidently. "I can get on the quarterback fast. My run (defense) is coming along. I'm starting to do good against that, too. … Whatever I can do to get better, I'm going to do it. I'm just trying to be a great player and do the best I can."

Another big-time junior on Michigan's radar is Crete-Monee WR Laquon Treadwell, who was named area Offensive Player of the Year by the NWI Times after amassing 75 catches for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns:

"Quon is a special player, the type that is physically gifted, loves to compete, and has a solid understanding of the game," Crete coach Jerry Verde said. "Quon is a game changer, not only on offense, but also on the defensive side of the ball. His toughness and athleticism allow him to play any position."

Treadwell also had 46 total tackles, 10 TFLs, and eight sacks on defense. That's an athlete, people.

There have been some worries that Michigan could lose safety commit Dymonte Thomas to Ohio State after his cousin, the aforementioned Bri'onte Dunn, reaffirmed with the Buckeyes, but he's doing his best to put that talk to rest ($, info in header):

“Ohio State just offered me,” Thomas told his 1500+ followers on twitter.  “Haha, but it’s too late now. I’m Blue Nation now!"

“I’m Blue,” Thomas later reiterated to GoBlueWolverine.  “I’m staying committed.  I already gave (Michigan) my word.”

With over a year to go until signing day 2013, this is far from over, but for now there's no reason to be concerned.

A few new offers went out this week, I'll run them down quickly below:

  • Seffner (FL) Armwood DB Leon McQuay III, who's already taken unofficial visits to Georgia Tech, Florida, Ohio State, and Vanderbilt ($, info in header).
  • Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge DE Jonathan Allen, who was also offered by Tennessee last week. After recording 20 sacks and eight(!) forced fumbles as a sophomore, Allen had 120 tackles, 15 sacks, two forced fumbles, and seven(!!) blocked kicks this year.
  • Olney (MD) Good Counsel teammates Dorian O'Daniel ($), an OLB/DE, and Kendall Fuller, a cornerback, were both offered on the same trip that saw the Wolverines miss paths with Stefon Diggs.
  • Warren (OH) Howland RB Deveon Smith, who grew up as a Michigan fan ($, info in header).
  • Reported on here yesterday, Peoria (IL) Manual OL Logan Tuley-Tillman got his much-coveted Michigan offer and immediately named them as his leader. My full interview with Logan is here.

Quickly: Blue-chip linebacker Peter Kalambayi has Michigan in his top five with Clemson, Florida, Duke, and Stanford ($, info in header); Jeff Hecklinski made an in-school visit to Damascus (MD) WR Zach Bradshaw; Michigan has interest from Cincinnati Moeller OL Alex Gall ($, info in header) and Solon (OH) DB Darian Hicks ($, info in header).

Unverified Voracity: RIP Bo

Unverified Voracity: RIP Bo

Submitted by Brian on November 17th, 2011 at 12:32 PM

UPDATE: Dangit. I forgot to pump this: the Blood Battle is going on RIGHT NOW. Defeat OSU, get cookies.

RIP Bo. Five years ago today.

bo-woody

Rothstein has a reflective piece worth your time. An open letter from the Hoover Street Rag. I wrote a thing back then.

Black and Blue. Hey, kids. That documentary about Gerald Ford, Willis Ward, and Georgia Tech is being screened for free at the Ford Presidential Library at 7 on Friday. If you're not going to the hockey game, hit it up. I am, so I can't, but if anyone does end up going a review in the diaries would be nice.

I let do… wat? Demar Dorsey features in the Detroit News saying things that are unexpected:

The passion for such a goal runs so deep in Dorsey that he claims he would try out for the team as a walk-on if a scholarship isn't available.

"If I can get into the school, I know I'll find a way to make the team," he said. "Nobody knows how bad I want it."  … "I'm in the same state!" Dorsey said. "Why would you miss out on your best shot in the state? C'mon, Brady Hoke!"

You'd think the cynical crap he got from the local media would have turned him off on the entire state, but I guess not. Guy has goals. Unfortunately, with Michigan's class near-full, its APR hovering in a dangerous zone, the coach who recruited him gone, and Dorsey still carrying academic question marks from his high school career, a reunion is exceedingly unlikely.

Too bad. I'd love to see certain local folks twist themselves into pretzels trying to contrast this version of Dorsey with the one that proved Rich Rodriguez was Mark Dantonio.

UPDATE II: Apparently Dorsey is a 2013 prospect, so it's somewhat less of a longshot. Still a longshot.

The bump. Ace mentioned this in the morning but it's worth repeating: Scout's latest rankings see three Michigan commits (Joe Bolden, Tom Strobel, and AJ Williams) rise significantly with only one (Kaleb Ringer) dropping. Conspiracy theories about Michigan commits dropping all the time should be shelved this year.

BONUS eeee recruiting accounting: Michigan currently has thirteen commits in the Scout 300—actually all in the top 250—and virtually everyone they're still pursuing is also amongst that number. It seems like the only way they won't end up with 17 is if they strike out on two of their three high-end WR targets and have to pick up a decent three star instead.

Marvin Robinson's lawyer: better than Jerry Sandusky's. The Robinson POV on his court thing:

Mason said Robinson already has an Xbox. In fact, he has two, Mason said. The student who reported the theft is an acquaintance of Robinson's, and Robinson has been in his room on "various occasions," Mason said. They trade Xboxes, he said. Mason, a U-M graduate, said it's not uncommon for a student to go into another student's room.

"I lived in Michigan dorms and I used to walk into my room and find people sitting there, watching TV," he said.

Robinson is going to cooperate with university police and Washtenaw County prosecutors, Mason said, adding that Robinson has no criminal record.

"He goes to class," he said. "He goes to study hall. He goes to practice. And he goes to church every Sunday with his mom and dad."

His hearing has been delayed until January. No idea if that's an accurate picture of the situation but I'm guessing Robinson is still on the team when this is resolved.

In 2062, this will be an article about Toledo. Apparently beating Michigan in 1962 was a big deal:

It’s been almost a half century since Nebraska’s last visit to Michigan Stadium, the place where one of the most powerful college football programs of the modern era emerged.

Bob Devaney earned his first signature victory on that sunny September afternoon in 1962, upsetting the Wolverines 25-13 in what was supposed to be, according to the Detroit Free Press, an “opening-day breather” for the home team.

The rest is history.

Michigan went 2-7 in 1962.

Van Bergen FTW. A bit more on Van Bergen's stunt stunt last weekend, and the study that generates it, from the Daily:

Every Tuesday, the coaches hand out the scouting reports. Van Bergen usually finds the tendencies and play consistencies watching film on his own. Sometimes he’s right, and sometimes Montgomery has to straighten him out. The answers are always in the binder. In practice, the scout team gives the defense simulations of what they’ll see in the game.

“It goes from there to the game,” Montgomery said. “ ‘Hey Coach, this holds up. Every time they do this, it’s accurate.’ Then they start to believe.” …

Van Bergen knew Iowa was going to sneak its quarterback when it hurried up to the line on a fourth-and-1 two weeks ago — he and Martin snuffed it out.

The past three weeks in particular, Montgomery said, Van Bergen has been well versed in the opponent’s “meat and potatoes” (Hoke’s term for tendencies and key plays).

No wonder they’ve been his best three weeks of the season — 13 tackles, five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

He knew what play Purdue was going to run in the shadow of its own endzone, based on a tip — alignment, personnel, formation or all the above. He told Martin, who then ripped through the line for a safety because he knew what was coming.

Unless he has a long NFL career (not entirely out of the question), Van Bergen is going to be defensive line Mike Hart as soon as he graduates—the guy everyone follows in his coaching career, hoping he returns.

I was listening to the BSD podcast this week for various reasons mostly having nothing to do with football, but I did get a football tidbit when they had Ramzy from Eleven Warriors on. He mentioned that you can pick out OSU passing plays because their n00b receivers only look at their wristbands when it's a pass. That'll probably get hammered out by the time the Game rolls around; given the widespread antipathy for Bollman OSU will probably be tipping things in ways not so easily addressable.

More Van Bergen. I like Ryan Van Bergen.

"The year my class came here was after the 1 versus 2 Ohio (State) game and Michigan went to the Rose Bowl," Van Bergen said, referring to the 2006 season. "That was my expectation — we're going to play Ohio to go to the Rose Bowl every year I'm here. I was going to have coach (Lloyd) Carr for my whole time here, and it was going to be great.

"The amount of adversity that has been encountered by this senior class, especially the fifth-year guys, I'd be hard-pressed to find another group that has survived and now thrives in that situation. I don't know how much people even realize how dedicated these guys were."

A lot.

"I guessed three times it was going to be a pass just by their formation, and I was right all three times. So I was like, 'You know what? Eff this, I'm doing it.' Mike went with me. He jumped in and it was successful."

(Angelique bowdlerized "eff this" to "forget this"; Heiko reports that it was "Eff" but not the full Molk.)

The other red enemy. MGoFootball interviews a Big Red Network contributor:

What’s Nebraska’s greatest position strength? Greatest weakness?

It’s not really a matter of position strength as it is a matter of depth and experience. It’s kind of a catch 22 for NU right now. NU’s best defensive player is a linebacker, Lavonte David. And, Will Compton has steadily improved. So, its a strength, right? The problem is they are very weak/thin at linebacker after those two. The same could be said for the secondary. Alfonzo Dennard is a stud, and they all feed off of him. At times, they play well. At others, they are very suspect. It’s the same story at running back – a strength because Burkhead is stud, potential weakness because it’s only freshman behind him. When he got nicked up against Northwestern, it hurt the offense a lot.

As far as a a true strength for NU, I can’t overstate how much quality special teams play has helped the Huskers so far this year. Brett Maher’s punting was important last week. He’s done a great job as a kicker this year too. The NU return game has been strong too. That’s the stuff that quietly helps win games.

Corn Nation previews the weekend; I was on the Corn Nation podcast as well.

Tight ends: pro-style requirements. Today in "quoting everything Chris Brown writes" we focus on tight ends. You may remember an emailer questioning Michigan's decision to take Pharaoh Brown as a tight end because defensive ends seem more valuable. I wrote then:

I get the vibe that tight end is going to be a big deal with Borges. If we're headed to a collection-of-plays Boise-style offense, having a diverse set of tight ends is a key component. Having a 6'6" guy who can run some is a major help in your effort to whiplash the defense from huge power running sets to spread passing attacks. What do you do when the opposition has a guy who can block a defensive end but can't be covered by a linebacker? Brown may be that guy.

Now Brown tackles the transformation of the Patriots offense from a full-spread passing attack back to something approximating NFL norms:

[In response to Rex Ryan blitzing his spread to death] Belichick went out and drafted [tight ends] Gronkowski and Hernandez.

Hernandez is more of a pure receiver, and his chief advantage is as a substitution/personnel problem: If he's in the game, you don't know if he'll line up as a tight end or if he'll split wide so that Welker can play the slot, forcing you to decide whether to put your cornerback on Welker or Hernandez, potentially creating advantages in both the run and passing game. But Gronkowski is a true triple-threat from the tight-end spot: He can block, he can go out for passes, and he can even block and then go out for delayed passes. Multiple defenders have to keep their eyes on him. And against such a threat, Ryan can't sell out with the multifarious blitzes overloaded to one side or the other, simply in an all-out effort to get Tom Brady. The presence of the tight ends—where will they line up, what will they do—dictates terms back to Rex Ryan, who would much rather cut loose and go on carrying his father's torch as the destroyer of pretty-boy quarterbacks.

Having Brown, Devin Funchess, and AJ Williams* in one class isn't overkill if a two-TE set is going to be the closest thing to a base offense Michigan has, and if you can split out a 6'6" dude like Brown that makes the whiplashing even whiplashier. There are a lot of things to get excited about in this recruiting class but the diverse, athletic set of tight ends they acquired is high on my list.

*[I know a lot of people are talking up Williams as a tackle. I think that's a possible endpoint for him but if that move ends up happening it won't be soon. Michigan will need him to play as a freshman.]

Etc.: Extensively reported NYT piece on Penn State makes McQueary look a little better, everyone else look worse. The NCAA left its SharePoint site open to the public for a while. Can't go two weeks in the Michigan blogosphere without someone posting some latin. BWS picture pages the Ryan/Kovacs speed option destruction.

Future Blue Originals: Harrison vs. Brother Rice and Pioneer vs. Bedford

Future Blue Originals: Harrison vs. Brother Rice and Pioneer vs. Bedford

Submitted by Ace on November 7th, 2011 at 12:36 PM

As you can see, "Creeper Van Originals" is now "Future Blue Originals," because it turns out high school administrators sometimes read this stuff and may miss the tongue-in-cheek humor of the former title. As I would like to get continued access to high school games, CVO is now FBO. Also, there is no video this week, as the MHSAA won't credential MGoBlog for filming the playoffs because, in their words, we are a "fan site" and therefore are not granted press access. Trust me, this was fantastic news to hear on a Friday—aka the day I planned to film at Pioneer—after attempting to get in contact with them all week. Bitter? Oh, not at all.

ANYWAYS, I was able to make it to two games this weekend, the first to see running back Drake Johnson and my old high school, Ann Arbor Pioneer, take on Temperance Bedford, the second to watch commits Mario Ojemudia and Devin Funchess as well as recruits Jon Reschke and Drake Johnson Lorenzo Collins as Farmington Hills Harrison took on Brother Rice in a much-hyped district final.

First, I'll cover the big upset—Brother Rice took down defending Division 2 state champ Harrison, 30-7, to hand the top-ranked Hawks their first loss of the season and eliminate them from the playoffs. This was a surprise, as Harrison has been nationally ranked for much of the year while Brother Rice had four losses, but the Hawks were without quarterback/safety Jake Vento due to injury and Ojemudia missed the first-half thanks to a dubiously-timed suspension for wearing pads at a summer camp, a violation of MHSAA rules. Highlights normally go here, but instead here's a photo of Brother Rice junior linebacker Jon Reschke, who had a phenomenal game:

DPP_0016

Scouting

Devin Funchess (Harrison TE #5, 2012 commit): Funchess came out strong early, recording his lone reception in the first half on a 21-yard catch-and-run that showed off his soft hands, good speed for his size, and ability to pick up yards after the catch. He nearly had the most impressive play of the night, skying to high-point a lob at midfield, but he came down hard and had the ball raked out by a BR defender. To add injury to insult, Funchess came up limping after the play, and while he gamely continued to play on both sides of the ball (he had three tackles and a TFL playing LB/DE, by my count)—the injury clearly affected his mobility, though he showed a lot of toughness by playing all-out in a losing effort despite limping off the field in obvious pain after several drives.

Mario Ojemudia (Harrison DE #53, 2012 commit): As stated earlier, Ojemudia had to sit out the first half because of his suspension, and by the time he saw his first snap Harrison was already down 10-0 and had just allowed a 70-yard kickoff return deep into Hawk territory to open the second half. You could tell Ojemudia was trying to shake off the rust after sitting for so long, and while he was able to get some penetration into the Brother Rice backfield, the Warriors spent most of the second half running clock—staying away from Ojemudia in the process. This was not a good game to evaluate Ojemudia for reasons largely outside his control, but his dominance this season speaks for itself.

Lorenzo Collins (Harrison RB #20, 2014 recruit): Collins has been a sophomore sensation for the Hawks, but he was largely held in check this game thanks to a very strong Brother Rice defense and the fact that Harrison had to play catch-up for essentially the whole game. 247Sports lists Collins, who finished with 40 yards on 12 carries, at 6'0", 200 pounds, though he looked a little smaller to me, though keep in mind he's just a sophomore. While he was largely limited, Collins did display the speed and agility that make him a player to watch in the future, including juking Reschke in the hole on one first-half carry and forcing a complete whiff, the only time I saw a Harrison player get past the Warrior linebacker. If Collins adds a little bulk and improves his ball security—Reschke forced him to fumble later in the half, though Harrison recovered—he should be a prospect who gets serious consideration for a four-star rating. He does have a bit of the Michael Shaw bouncebouncebouncebounce tendency, and doesn't display much power just yet (though he usually finds a way to fall forward), but again, we're talking about a high school sophomore.

Jon Reschke (Brother Rice LB #48, 2013 recruit): Reschke was the most impressive player on the field on Saturday, recording what must have been double-digit tackles (I lost count while trying to take some photos) and at least one tackle for loss to go along with the forced fumble. Reschke was always around the ball and had a displayed great instincts in finding the fastest path to the ballcarrier, and when he hit, you could hear it—Brady Hoke would likely be able to distinguish a Reschke tackle from those of his teammates without opening his eyes. Playing outside linebacker and a little bit of defensive end, Reschke chased down plays from sideline to sideline and never appeared out of position. He did get juked the one time by Collins, but otherwise kept plays in front of him, and looked like he's earned every bit of the early hype coming his way.

Photo Gallery:

Apologies for the lack of action shots, but I accidentally had the camera on the wrong setting for much of the second half—when I meandered down to the sideline from the bleachers—and came out with a bunch of blurry photos.

After the jump, get my impressions on Drake Johnson after his statistically-ridiculous effort against Bedford.

Thursday Recruitin' Won't Go Interviewing Zach Banner's Mama

Thursday Recruitin' Won't Go Interviewing Zach Banner's Mama

Submitted by Ace on November 3rd, 2011 at 10:51 AM

This week's Thursday Recruitin' will not be talking about Mitch McGary, because sometime after his 5 p.m. announcement today we'll know everything we need to know about his recruitment. It's a pretty quiet week this week, but as always, there's still a fair amount to discuss about football recruiting. Usual request: Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

Shaq Thompson Is Visiting, Bri'onte Dunn "Kind Of" Committed to OSU

So, hooray for actual original reporting, as I saw Tim Sullivan's message board post over at The Wolverine ($) saying that five-star CA safety Shaq Thompson's coach was pretty sure he would take an official visit to Michigan and shot Shaq a message on Twitter. He got back to me Tuesday night, and confirmed that he'll be taking an official to Ann Arbor, although I still haven't heard from him about which week he'll be coming up. Sam Webb said on WTKA yesterday that he thinks the coaching staff wants Thompson to come up for a non-game weekend to make sure he has genuine interest in Michigan. That would also give the staff more one-on-one time to get to know Thompson and sell him on the school.

This is big news, obviously, as Thompson would be the highest-rated recruit in the class at a position of need, but before you get too excited keep in mind that Michigan is still likely a longshot to land him at this point. Getting him on campus is a big step, but the Wolverines will be competing with Cal (the school he originally committed to), Oregon, Notre Dame, and Washington—and perhaps others, such as USC, as he hasn't decided where he'll be taking his final official—for his commitment.

In today's 'quote that will make everyone freak the hell out,' Bri'onte Dunn said this to Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts after visiting Ohio State for their game against Wisconsin ($):

When asked if he is still a solid Ohio State commitment, Dunn said, “Kind of. I’m still thinking about stuff. I want to check the other schools out.”

Dunn did say that he really enjoyed the visit to Columbus, but he's also planning to take an official visit to Ann Arbor, and he might take trips to Penn State and Miami as well. The door sounds like it is still very much open. Huzzah. (Ohio State fans, predictably, are taking this totally in stride and are certainly not bracing for a potential decommit by saying they don't want Dunn anyway. Nope, not at all. Nothing to see here.)

Consensus four-star cornerback Yuri Wright will be taking an official visit of his own for the Ohio State game—the first time he'll have visited Ann Arbor—and he told Steve Wiltfong that two schools are currently on top for him ($, info in header):

“I would say Rutgers and Michigan are two schools that would be pretty hard to say no to them,” Wright said following practice on Thursday evening.

I'm liking Michigan's chances if it comes down to a battle of official visits between Michigan and Rutgers, though you never know, and Wright is still considering several other schools. That said, the Wolverines look to be in good position with him right now.

Quickly: Jordan Diamond fluff; M is in four-star receiver Darius Powe's top four ($); free Scout film on receiver Monty Madaris; and happy trails to Texas athlete Jalin Overstreet, who got an offer to come in as a quarterback for the Longhorns (Michigan, and most others, were recruiting him as a safety) and he jumped on it.

Much, much more—including Zach Banner jokingly threatening a Seattle reporter (we hope)—after the jump.

Thursday Recruitin' Finds 1,000 Ways To Say 'That Was Awesome'

Thursday Recruitin' Finds 1,000 Ways To Say 'That Was Awesome'

Submitted by Ace on September 15th, 2011 at 9:55 AM

In this week's Thursday Recruitin', effusive praise of the Under the Lights experience abounds, Danny O'Brien nears a decision, the 2013 Scout 100 is released, and there's even some basketball recruiting news. Please let me know if you have any comments, criticism, suggestions, etc.as always, I'll be reading the comments, and you can also reach me on Twitter or via email, where I'll also encourage you to send any recruiting articles of interest that you think I should include for the next week's edition.

If You Weren't In Ann Arbor, You Were Wrong

So sayeth Shane Morris:

It's tough to find a recruit who was in attendance that would disagree with that sentiment. From the non-paywalled articles, here are quotes from Devin Funchess...

"That was a live game," he said. "I got down when Notre Dame scored the wide open touchdown, but Michigan did a lot with 30 seconds. It was a great game and a great comeback and I want to be a part of it next year."

...Allen Gant...

“It was fantastic,” Gant said of the atmosphere. “Especially being in the biggest stadium in college football, there’s no greater feeling then that. Especially being the first night game at Michigan Stadium, it was fantastic. Listening to all the music going on between the plays… it made me want to go out there and play right away.”

...and Terry Richardson:

"This is why I committed," he said. "This is why I set my plans to Michigan. It's a great university. We have to come here and try to carry on the big time tradition."

The incredible game and atmosphere had an impact on the uncommitted visitors, as well. Gant sat next to WA OL Zach Banner and CA WR Jordan Payton, and he thinks the experience gave Michigan a big leg up in each of their recruitments [emphasis mine]:

“I actually sat right next to them. We built a pretty good relationship and it was a good experience being with them. I think that Zach and Jordan think this is a great atmosphere to be in and playing in front of 114,000 people is just an unbelievable experience. I feel like at the end of the day, Ann Arbor is where they want to be.

Even from the premium articles, it's easy to get a sense of how well the visits went for, well, everyone. [Note: All of these should come with a ($), but it seemed ridiculous to insert that after every single link for the rest of this section.] Banner was "blown away," by the Big House, telling 24/7 that Michigan "definitely moved up my board." Danny O'Brien (more on him later) called the experience "electric." Jordan Payton deemed the trip "amazing," and said Michigan is his leader—he might even move up his announcement, though he won't reveal a date yet. Erik Magnuson quipped "there's nothing like it." Caleb Stacey? Simply speechless.

Of course, the Wolverines didn't play host to just the seniors. 2013 DB Shaquille Wiggins tweeted after the game, "I can't wait to go to Michigan I jus want those new uniforms.." The Tyrone (GA) Sandy Creek standout, who holds a U-M offer, named a new leader this week ($). I'll give you zero guesses, because duh.

The visit set the bar ($) for Pickerington (OH) Central DE Taco Charlton, who also earned an offer from the coaches this week and now has the Wolverines among his leaders. For Wheaton (IL) St. Francis OT Kyle Bosch, the trip exceeded his expectations ($). Toledo (OH) St. John's DE Matt Miller, younger brother of Michigan offensive lineman Jack, appears to have enjoyed himself as well:

All that, and I've yet to mention that Dymonte Thomas, one of the top juniors in Ohio and a blue-chip recruit at both running back and safety, committed on the spot Saturday. This "night game" concept just might catch on, guys.

Danny O'Brien Sets a Date and More 2012 News

Flint Powers defensive tackle Danny O'Brien will make his much-anticipated announcement during his school's homecoming rally on October 7th, choosing between Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, and Michigan State ($, info in header). As Scout's Sam Webb notes on his new Twitter page, that announcement comes before planned official visits to Tennessee and Michigan State, the two schools that seem to have the best shot at him outside of Michigan. Having a "Hello" post prepared by the first week in October seems like it would be a good idea.

Our good friend TomVH reports that wideout Amara Darboh will take an official visit to Michigan on either November 19th or 26th, coinciding with the Nebraska and Ohio State games, respectively ($, info in header). Darboh initially planned on visiting for the Western Michigan game, but wasn't able to make it in that weekend—I wouldn't read much into that, especially with the rescheduled visit, and I think Michigan is in good position with Darboh.

Don Bosco Prep (NJ) defensive back Yuri Wright has one official visit set ($, info in header), and since this is a Michigan site, you can probably guess where that visit is going to be. He hasn't decided on a date yet, but it looks like he'll be in Ann Arbor within the next month. He has a final six of Michigan, Rutgers, Georgia, Notre Dame, Cal, and Michigan State.

The Wolverines may be in line for a surprise visit from five-star Sacramento (CA) Grant safety Shaq Thompson ($, info in header). Thompson has the ability to play multiple positions, has fantastic size (6'2", 210), and is the type of prospect you don't really say no to, so it will be very interesting to see what happens if Michigan gets him on campus—I doubt the coaches would turn him away because of a numbers crunch.

Quickly: Michael Rothstein profiles Greg Mattison and his recruiting prowess at WolverineNation. Also at WN, TomVH counts down Michigan's top ten most important commits in the class, with Caleb Stacey the No. 10 most important commit ($), Devin Funchess No. 9 ($), and Terry Richardson No. 8 (free). MLive's Kyle Warber caught up with Mario Ojemudia for an interview last week. Good Cousel (MD) five-star receiver Stefon Diggs will trim his list down to eight on October 1st, and is looking at Auburn, Miami, Florida, and possibly Clemson for official visits—he'll be a tough pull, and Michigan needs to find a way to get him on campus if they want a shot. Fullback commit Sione Houma's ankle injury, suffered during his game last week, is not serious, and he should be back on the field within two weeks.

Dymonte Thomas Commits, 2013 Scout 100 Released

As mentioned above, Alliance (OH) Marlington S/RB Dymonte Thomas committed to Michigan after the Notre Dame game. You can find much more in my "Hello" post, but here's some delicious bitterness from the Duane Long Report's Jerry Beeson [emphasis mine]:

Friday night I had the opportunity to get a first hand look at the Marlington Dukes and star junior Dymonte Thomas as they traveled to Mahoning county to take on Poland. I was hoping to witness a future Buckeye, but after watching Michigan's come from behind win over the Irish of Notre Dame, word has come down that Thomas has verbally committed to Michigan. Key word being verbal, but I'll leave that at that.

Um, Jerry? All commitments are "verbal" until signing day. That's how this whole thing works. Deal with it. Making that statement even more ridiculous is the fact that, a few weeks ago, DUANE LONG wrote on the very same site that Ohio State wasn't showing enough interest in Thomas, and he was a "baffling non-offer." That same article also proclaims Michigan's newest commit both the best running back and the best safety in Ohio's class of '13, which is nice. Thomas will play safety when he takes the field for the Wolverines.

Speaking of Thomas, he earned a four-star rating in the newly-released Scout 100, which gives players star ratings but no rankings yet—the full list is simply ordered by stars and then position. Thomas is among the top seven safeties in the country, while fellow commit Shane Morris is one of just 12 players (and two quarterbacks) to earn a five-star rating. Here's a list of Michigan targets who made the list (all are four-stars except Jalin Marshall and Michael Hutchings; positions are what's listed on Scout, not necessarily what they'd play at Michigan):

  • Middletown (OH) RB Jalin Marshall
  • Concord (CA) De La Salle OLB Michael Hutchings
  • Sammamish (WA) Skyline QB Max Browne
  • Wayne (NJ) Hills QB Kevin Olsen
  • Joliet (IL) Catholic RB Ty Isaac
  • Destrehan (LA) WR Rickey Jefferson
  • Camp Hill (PA) Cedar Cliff TE Adam Breneman
  • Midland (MI) OT Steven Elmer
  • Dallas (TX) Lake Highlands OT Kent Perkins
  • Huber Heights (OH) Wayne OT Lovell Peterson
  • Lemont (IL) Township OT Ethan Pocic
  • Lake City (FL) Columbia OT Laremy Tunsil
  • Parker (CO) Ponderosa OG Christopher Fox
  • Avon (IN) DE Elijah Daniel
  • Detroit Catholic Central DE Wyatt Shallman (offered by U-M as a tailback)
  • Hudson (OH) OLB Ben Gedeon
  • Woodbridge (VA) C.D. Hylton OLB E.J. Levenberry
  • Bloomfield (MI) Brother Rice OLB Jon Reschke
  • Fort Wayne (IN) Biship Luers OLB Jaylon Smith
  • Matthews (NC) Butler MLB Peter Kalambayi
  • Indianapolis (IN) Warren Central MLB Tim Kimbrough
  • Murrieta (CA) Vista S Su'a Cravens
  • Trotwood (OH) Madison CB Cameron Burrows

Michigan has at least some interest from a full 25% of next year's Scout 100, and with the 2013 class shaping up to be much smaller (probably 18-20 players, depending on attrition) than 2012, the Wolverines will be able to pick and choose from among the nation's elite.

Quickly: Tom has a feature article on Steve Elmer ($), and while the article is paywalled, you can see his video interview with Elmer for free here. To quote the great Keith Jackson, if Elmer keeps eating his cornbread, he'll be man-sized some day. According to the 24/7 message boards, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin are in a lead group for Elmer over Michigan State.

Basket-ball?

Yes, basketball. Sam Webb's latest DetNews article focused on five-star 2012 big man Mitch McGary, and extensively quotes his AAU coach, who is definitely a fan of John Beilein:

"The post player is intimately and intricately involved in John Beilein's system," [AAU coach Wayne] Brumm explained. "I don't know anybody who runs a better offensive system for a post player than Michigan. So I have to say, why not (Michigan as a possible destination)? Everybody else is (analyzing McGary's recruitment) like they're a friggin fan. We're trying to pick a school that is in Mitch's best interest."

Brumm added: "John Beilein can flat-out coach. The people I talk to and the coaches I talk to, I'll flat-out tell you — they are scared of John Beilein. They are worried about the day he starts getting the talent that they've got (at their schools). He's been at a bunch of places that he couldn't recruit high-major talent. Now he's at Michigan and it looks like he is making some headway there. When he starts with an even slate in terms of talent, look out! Look what he did last year. Look what he did with Darius Morris, Timmy Hardaway, and look what he has done with Jordan Morgan. My goodness, isn't anybody paying attention?"

[raises hand] The article also quotes a Scout national hoops recruiting analyst who says that Michigan "is certainly right there, if not at the top, very close to it," in terms of McGary's recruitment. McGary himself has a blog on ESPN Rise, and he recapped his recent visits to Michigan, North Carolina, and Duke:

I would say that the part that stood out most about the visit was the fans and just how much love they showed me. I really wasn’t expecting all of that. People talk about the Cameron Crazies at Duke, but that’s how it was at Michigan too. Those fans showed me the most love of the three visits.

Fans chanted "Mitch Mc-Ga-ry" during the Western Michigan game, and that caught the big man's attention. In the blog, he also debunks rumors he committed to both UNC and Duke while also saying that he'd like to check out Kentucky, Maryland, and Florida, but he's "not sure" he'll make it to those schools. The Wolverines have turned into a serious player—perhaps even the favorite?—in a recruitment that felt like a pipe dream not very long ago.

Joe Eberhardt of UMHoops caught up with 2013 commit Glenn Robinson III for an interview, and they discussed Robinson's AAU teammate... Mitch McGary:

This summer, I was recruiting [McGary] hard and I know Michigan is in his top 5. I know he had a great time on his visit to Michigan. He’s my best friend and we are really like brothers. I want him to do what is best for him, but I’ll try to do what I can do to recruit him to Michigan. I really don’t know know where he is going to end up, but I hope he comes to Michigan. I know he’s still taking visits and making a decision, but I don’t think it will be too much longer before he decides.

According to UMHoops, Michigan now has a new target in the 2013 class in rising Texas big man Dominic Woodson, who now claims a Wolverine offer:

New England recruiting expert Adam Finkelstein describes Woodson as “a poor man’s Dejuan Blair, a power player and space eater inside the lane who bullies his opponents on both ends of the floor.” Most importantly, Woodson lists an offer from Michigan as well as Oklahoma, Michigan State and Baylor with interest from Louisville, Florida, UConn and Texas. An offer would likely have to be made official by a visit to campus but the Michigan interest appears sincere with Beilein and Bacari attending open gym.

He sounds like a contingency plan if Beilein and Co. can't land McGary, especially given the limited number of available scholarships in the next couple classes.

Finally, Dylan posts his own recruiting class rankings for 2013, and the Wolverines currently sit atop the list, though it's still very early in the process (half the conference, including Michigan State, has yet to land a commit).

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30

Weekday Warriors 2011: 8-30

Submitted by Ace on August 30th, 2011 at 3:52 PM

'Friday Night Lights' is now 'Weekday Warriors', and every week I'll be updating you on the latest performances from Michigan commits as they play our their high school seasons. If you see anything missing or can find an article on a game, please feel free to contact me via Twitter or email.

2012 COMMITS

TN OL Blake Bars

Montgomery Bell Academy dropped to 1-1 on the season with a blowout loss to Louisville (KY) Trinity. Since Bars is an offensive linemen, there are no stats to report.

This week: The Big Red hope to move back above .500 at home against Brentwood Academy on Friday.

Joe BoldenOH LB Joe Bolden

Bolden's Colerain squad won a nationally-televised matchup with last year's Florida 2A state champion, Cocoa, by a score of 17-7, snapping Cocoa's 38-game winning streak. Bolden did a little bit of everything, tallying eight tackles, tipping a pass that led to an interception, and completing a 36-yard pass on a fake punt (yes, Bolden serves as Colerain's punter). The win extended Colarain's home winning streak to a remarkable 60 games. ESPN's highlights of the contest prominently feature the future Wolverine, though also unfortunately Pam Ward. I can't embed the video without an ad autoplaying (seriously, WTF, ESPN), so you'll have to hit the link to see the highlights.

This week: Colarain looks to continue their home dominance on Friday against Ryle at 7:30.

MI OL Ben Braden

In a matchup of western (Michigan) powers, Rockford fell in their opener at Lowell, 28-7. Despite the loss, Braden came in for praise from Lowell's coach, Noel Dean:

"I'm not sure we'll see a team anywhere near that big," he said. "Their front seven on defense is as big as I've ever seen. And their front seven on offense -- I've never seen a human being move as well as that Ben Braden at this level. I was standing on that field, and I didn't feel good about putting my kids in front of him. He's huge, and he's a really good player."

This week: Rockford looks to right the ship in their home opener against Holt on Thursday at 7.

OH DE Pharaoh Brown

Brush fell to Eastlake North 51-20 in their opening game of the season. Though the Brush defense didn't perform, Brown reported to me on Twitter that he recorded three sacks, four tackles, and caught three passes for 86 yards, despite the fact that, according to him, Eastlake North widened the splits in their line to keep him from getting to the quarterback and refused to run in his direction.

This week: Brush hits the road on Friday at 7 to face Madison.

MI TE Devin Funchess, DE Mario Ojemudia, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, and CB Terry Richardson

As you all know, these four faced off in the Big Day Showdown at Eastern Michigan, with Farmington Hills Harrison (Funchess and Ojemudia) blowing out Cass Tech (RJS and Terry Richardson) 43-7. Funchess recorded three receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown, as well as tallying an interception while playing safety. Ojemudia dominated at defensive end, finishing with four tackles, three for a loss, 1/2 sack, six QB hurries, and a fumble recovery on a blocked punt, while also playing offensive tackle for most of the game. Jenkins-Stone had four tackles and a forced fumble (in a bizarre twist, that came on offense after an interception) and also caught two passes and carried the ball five times for a total of seven yards. Richardson finished with a pass breakup – in the end zone against State commit Aaron Burbridge, no less – three kick returns for 70 yards, and one catch for 13 yards. The game was the subject of this week's Creeper Van Originals, and the highlights are below:

This week: Harrison plays at Southfield on Thursday at 7, while Cass Tech hopes to bounce back on Friday at 3 on the road at Detroit Central.

OH S Allen Gant

Gant played on both sides of the ball for Southview in their 23-21 season-opening victory over St. Francis de Sales. According to an intrepid MGoPoster who was taking down stats for de Sales, Gant played receiver and finished with one catch for five yards and took a jet sweep for seven yards – there are no defensive stats to be found, though apparently Gant did not record an interception, in case you were wondering.

This week: Southview travels to Toledo Rogers on Friday at 7.

MI DT Matt Godin

According to Andrew at Touch the Banner, Godin recorded two tackles in the first half before sitting out the second with an apparent concussion in Detroit Catholic Central's 42-0 trouncing of Dearborn Fortson.

This week: DCC heads to Ohio to take on Delphos St. John's on Friday at 7:30. Let's hope Godin's injury isn't too serious.

UT FB Sione Houma

A week after rushing for 112 yards on 16 carries and returning a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, Houma's stats aren't available from Highland's 41-7 victory over Cedar.

This week: The 2-0 Rams have their home opener against Provo at 7 on Friday night.

OH OL Kyle Kalis

Lakewood St. Edward defeated Glenville 17-14 in their season opener, but did so without Kalis, who was sidelined with an injury:

Michigan recruit and offensive tackle Kyle Kalis was in street clothes on the St. Edward sideline with a dislocated kneecap. Finotti said he's "day to day." He could return as early as next week or in two to three weeks.

This week: St. Edward travels to Pittsburgh to take on Penn Hills on Friday. We'll see if Kalis is able to suit up.

CA OL Erik Magnuson

Magnuson did not play last week, as La Costa Canyon begins its season on Friday against Marina.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins

Park Hill knocked off Liberty by a score of 13-7, and TomVH (you might recognize the name) caught up to Pipkins, who said he had eight tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles. Nice.

This week: On Friday at 7, Park Hill has its home opener against Ruskin.

OH LB Kaleb Ringer

Northmont dropped its opener to Hamilton, 28-14, as Ringer sat out the game with a broken hand suffered in the previous week's scrimmage. Ringer said on Twitter that the injury might require surgery, but he's hoping to get back on the field in a soft cast next week.

This week: Northmont plays at Princeton on Friday at 7:30.

MI LB James Ross

Orchard Lake St. Mary's dominated their first game against Grand Rapids West Catholic, finishing with a 35-0 shutout. The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan (another name you might recognize) was at the game ($), and reported that Ross tallied three solo tackles (two for loss) and four assists.

This week: The Eaglets host Toledo (OH) St. John's Jesuit on Friday at 7.

OH OL Caleb Stacey

Oak Hills fell to La Salle in their opener, 42-21. No stats (obviously) or mention of Stacey in the game article.

This week: The Highlanders will try to pick up their first win of the year at Harrison on Friday at 7:30.

IL CB Anthony Standifer

Crete-Monee defeated Thornton Fractional South by a score of 32-8 in their opener. Standifer reported to me on Twitter that he finished with eight tackles, making sure to mention that Thornton didn't throw his way during the game.

This week: The Warriors head to Lincoln-Way West on Friday at 7:30.

OH DE Tom Strobel

Mentor defeated Euclid 49-21 in their first game of the season. No stats were readily available for Strobel, so this is the part where I remind you to contact me if you come across these kinds of things. Thanks.

This week: The Cardinals host Ursuline on Friday at 7.

OH TE A.J. Williams

Sycamore beat Withrow, 38-24, to open the season. Williams didn't record a catch, though his quarterback ran the ball 16 times for four touchdowns, so I'm guessing he didn't have many opportunities to do so.

This week: The Aviators, whose mascot is not a pair of cool sunglasses, bro, have their home opener against Springboro on Friday at 7:30.

OH S Jarrod Wilson

Buchtel's matchup with Ohio powerhouse Massillon Washington was featured in a Rivals AMP video, and Wilson was credited with 6 1/2 tackles, though his team ultimately fell by a score of 31-6. Highlights, including a couple nice tackles by the future Wolverine:

This week: The Griffins hope to notch their first win of the year on the road at Steubenville on Friday at 7.

OH DE Chris Wormley

Toledo Whitmer blew out Start, 42-6, and TomVH once again comes through with the stats – two tackles, one QB hurry, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for Wormley. The Whitmer defense held Start to just 108 yards of total offense.

This week: The Panthers host some of our neighbors to the north as London (Ontario) Lucas travels to Toledo for a Friday night game at 7. I'll be filming this one for next week's Creeper Van Original.

2013 COMMITS

KY S Jeremy Clark

North Hopkins went on the road to defeat Graves County, 42-13, and Clark had quite the game, finishing with 12 tackles, an interception, and capping off the scoring with an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown, according to TomVH. It's great to see Clark do so well, but this is the point where I start to get nervous that a big-time program might offer him more than a grayshirt and he could jump ship.

This week: The Maroons look to improve to 2-1 when they host North Hardin on Friday at 8.

MI QB Shane Morris

Morris and his Warren De La Salle squad dominated my alma mater, Ann Arbor Pioneer, 43-28. Morris completed 12 of 15 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, and Fox 2 has a brief highlight clip from the game:

Warren DeLasalle Beats Ann Arbor Pioneer: MyFoxDETROIT.com

This week: De La Salle plays Carmen-Ainsworth at Lake Shore on Friday at 7.

Creeper Van Originals: Cass Tech vs. Farmington Hills Harrison

Creeper Van Originals: Cass Tech vs. Farmington Hills Harrison

Submitted by Ace on August 29th, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Yes, we're officially calling this feature, formerly part of Tim's 'Friday Night Lights' coverage, the weekly 'Creeper Van Original' installment. Embrace it, I guess. This week, there was really only one choice for the featured game, and that was the mega-showdown between Farmington Hills Harrison and Detroit Cass Tech, which featured four Michigan commits in the class of 2012 and a host of other D-1 prospects. The contest itself was a bit of a letdown, as Harrison ran away with the victory, 43-7, but there were plenty of highlights from the Wolverine commits and a couple other prospects of interest:

General Game Impressions: Obviously, FHH was dominant from start to finish, and a lot of that had to do with the coaching. The Hawks were a well-oiled machine, moving the ball on the ground and through the air at will while holding the Technicians to just 155 yards of total offense. Cass Tech, on the other hand, looked disorganized on the sideline and out-of-sorts on the field; there were even a few plays where their defensive players were still scrambling to get in position while the ball was being snapped. Another potential issue here is that Harrison had senior or junior starters at all but two positions, giving them a decided experience advantage that showed through on the field, especially as the game got out of hand.

The player who showed the most promise, in my opinion (and much to the chagrin of the partisans on this blog, I'm sure), was Harrison wide receiver and Michigan State commit Aaron Burbridge. He caught three passes for 54 yards despite the lopsided score – FHH barely threw the ball at all in the second half – and displayed great route-running, nice hands, and very good athleticism for a player his size (6'2", 180 pounds). Terry Richardson and 2013 athlete Jourdan Lewis couldn't match up with him physically, and Burbridge was able to get to any spot on the field if he so pleased. If Burbridge sticks with the Spartans, and I have no reason to believe he won't, he should be a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten – the only thing he lacks is elite speed, and his size and route-running more than make up for it.

Mario Ojemudia: The good news for Michigan fans is that if there was one player who impressed as much as Burbridge, it was defensive end Mario Ojemudia. According to Mike Rothstein's count, which looks right to me, Ojemudia tallied four tackles, three for a loss, 1/2 sack, six QB hurries, and a fumble recovery on a blocked punt. This was in essentially three quarters of work, and Ojemudia played practically every snap in that span, lining up at offensive tackle as well as defensive end. Cass Tech simply couldn't stop him on the pass rush, and he brought it on every play, showing an excellent motor and a great nose for the football.

Ojemudia stood up well to double-teams, flashed a nice swim move a couple times, and made sure to finish every play, including chasing down Cass's running back from behind on one occasion. To me, Ojemudia looks like a perfect fit for rush end, and he appears to have the frame to add some pounds without losing athleticism. I was very impressed with him on Saturday.

Devin Funchess: Funchess didn't get too many opportunities on offense, thanks to the blowout score and Burbridge clearly being the focal point of the Harrison offense, but when he got the chance he showed he could turn into a very good tight end at the next level. Funchess displayed great hands and concentration, making his first reception on a tipped pass, and he finished with three receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown by my count (I'm pretty sure the Detroit News recap omits his first catch). Unfortunately for those who missed the game, I was tweeting when Funchess recorded his touchdown catch, so you'll have to believe me when I say he ran a great route up the seam, plucked the ball out of the air, and showed nice speed getting into the end zone on the 31-yard scoring play. His other catch also came when he found a hole in the middle of the defense – from limited viewing, I like what I see in his route-running, hands, and athleticism.

Funchess also recorded an interception on a play where Ojemudia pressured the quarterback into a poor throw, which was very nice to see as a Michigan fan. On a side note, for those of you who think that Michigan should try to convert Funchess into a wide receiver, I don't see that happening – he already weighs around 215 pounds, and looks like he could easily add another 20-30 before he gets to Ann Arbor. If Saturday was any indication, he could see the field immediately at tight end for Michigan, especially with the lack of depth at the position for the Wolverines.

Royce Jenkins-Stone: My initial impression from watching the game was that RJS had a relatively quiet night, but looking at the tape he had a better performance than I initially thought. Jenkins-Stone finished with four tackles, according to Rothstein again, and FHH clearly made it a point to run away from him – this seemed to frustrate him, especially since he wasn't getting much help at all from the rest of the defense. There were a few plays where RJS allowed himself to get taken out of the play too easily, getting a little passive, but for the most part he was very aggressive in pursuit and always seemed to end the play around the ballcarrier, even if he was 25 yards downfield.

Jenkins-Stone's best defensive play of the game actually came on offense when, lined up at fullback, he forced a fumble by a Harrison defender after Cass Tech's QB threw an interception on a screen pass, though FHH managed to recover the loose ball. I thought RJS showed good instincts, especially against the run, but unfortunately his team was up against a juggernaut and the front four couldn't get any pressure or stop holes from opening up. It certainly wasn't a great performance from RJS, but I still really like his combination of size, athleticism, and instincts – he should be good once he has a solid (and Mattison-coached) defense around him. He was also the clear leader of the defense, receiving all the play-calls from the sidelines and rallying his teammates, whether that meant being the first to congratulate one for a good play or giving one an earful if they'd blown an assignment – I liked what I saw there.

Terry Richardson: T-Rich had a relatively quiet night defensively, though he did have one great pass breakup on a slightly-underthrown jump ball to Burbridge in the end zone – he timed his jump perfectly and knocked the ball away from a much larger player, which is encouraging since Richardson will be giving up some size to pretty much anyone he's going to line up against in college. Burbridge got the better of him on at least one catch when he lined up in the slot and Richardson completely whiffed trying to play bump-and-run (on the film, that's the first play in Richardson's section).

Those were the only two plays where I got a clear view of Richardson playing corner – I had to focus on three different players when Harrison had the ball, and T-Rich was the toughest to keep track of – so I won't pass much judgment in terms of his abilities based on a pair of plays in one game. He also played offense and returned kicks, recording one first-down reception and returning three kickoffs for 70 yards, and he definitely showed promise as a returner – he's got very good speed and accelerates quickly once he gets the ball, and he proved quite elusive even with a full head of steam. Richardson is going to need to bulk up at the next level, but his athleticism is elite.

Jourdan Lewis (2013 athlete): Lewis, Cass Tech's other corner/wideout/returner, was their best player on the field on Saturday, in my opinion. The junior is listed by Rivals at 5'11", 170, and his size allows him to be much more physical – he had a couple big hits on both receivers and ballcarriers and was generally solid in his tackling, and he certainly wasn't afraid to step up and hit somebody. Lewis is not quite as fast or quick as Richardson, but he still has very good speed and agility and was able to show that off in all three phases of the game. Lewis had the best play of the night for Cass Tech's defense, coming up with a diving interception on their own goal line. He already has an offer from Toledo, and I expect he'll get offers from much more prominent programs – including Michigan – in the near future. He has the look of a BCS-level athlete and I like his potential as a bigger cornerback who can make plays against the pass or the run.

Jayru Campbell (2015 quarterback): Yes, that's 2015, as in this kid is a freshman. Cass Tech's senior starting quarterback was injured in the second half, forcing Campbell into duty, and he displayed a cannon arm, decent accuracy, and very good scrambling ability. He's already about 6'3", 170 pounds as a freshman, and on one scramble he shook off two tackles (including a huge hit from Funchess) and left three FHH defenders – including Ojemudia – down on the field, though luckily none were major injuries and Ojemudia later said on Twitter that all three guys cramped up (I believe him, since it was a warm night and several players had similar issues, though it was quite interesting timing). This caused the entire Cass Tech side of the field to go bananas, and was by far their biggest highlight of the game even though the play only went for a few yards.

Campbell showed great pocket presence for a freshman and led Cass Tech to their only touchdown of the night, slinging a 26-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. His mechanics need work, but again, we're talking about a high school freshman here. He's one to watch (far) down the road, but it appears he'll see a lot of action this year as the word is Cass Tech's starter will be out for the season with a knee injury – it certainly didn't look good at first glance.

Photo Gallery: A huge thanks to Eric (aka Chewer D on the MGoBoard) for making the drive up from Toledo and taking a whole bunch of pictures, as well as providing the video camera I used from the press box. Highlights include a montage of the Funchess touchdown and some great close-up shots of the commits, including RJS, who was sporting a Michigan skull cap under his helmet. Awesome.

Other MGoScouting: If you haven't yet, definitely check out NStank's report from the Glen Oak/Firestone game in Canton, which featured OSU commit Bri'onte Dunn. Dunn finished with 130 yards on 27 carries – more on that game in tomorrow's roundup, which is now called 'Weekday Warriors'. Kellen Winslow Jr. approves.

If you have any suggestions to help improve future Creeper Van Originals, please leave them in the comments or email me.

Next week: The van travels to Toledo Rogers to catch safety and U-M commit Allen Gant of Sylvania Southview HS. Change of plans, heading to see Gant in two weeks; next week I'll be at Toledo Whitmer to see Chris Wormley and the Panthers face off against A.B. Lucas Secondary School.

Friday Night Lights 2011: An In-State Primer

Friday Night Lights 2011: An In-State Primer

Submitted by Tim on July 21st, 2011 at 11:21 AM

This fall, I'll be chronicling the season of Michigan commits as they hit the field on Friday nights (or Thursdays, or Saturday afternoons) in their high school games. The series includes stat breakdowns, game stories, and even some original video. Here's a primer for the offensive side of the ball - the prospects whose games I'm most likely to attend this fall. If you have any corrections, you can e-mail them to me at Tim@mgoblog.com, or post them in the comments of this post.

Harrison High School

Farmington Hills, MI

Farmington Hills Harrison 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 8PM Detroit Cass Tech (@EMU)
9-1 7PM @ Southfield
9-9 7PM Stoney Creek
9-16 7PM Oxford
9-23 7PM @ Southfield Lathrup
9-30 7PM Oak Park
10-6 7PM @ Rochester Adams
10-14 7PM OAA Crossover Game
10-21 7PM Farmington

Devin Funchess
HS Position: Wide Receiver
Projects as: Tight End/H-Back

Mario Ojemudia
HS Position: Defensive Tackle
Projects as: Defensive End/Rush LB

Farmington Hills Harrison had plenty of success on the field last year, winning 14 straight game en route to an undefeated State Championship season in Michigan's second-largest division. Devin finished the season with about 33 catches for 800 yards, while Mario notched 127 tackles and 12 sacks from the DT(!!!) spot, also causing three fumbles.

Harrison looks to be strong yet again in 2011, with not only Funchess and Ojemudia back, but teammate Aaron Burbridge reeling in the receptions - I'll be keeping an eye on the #2 prospect in the state of Michigan, as he's a prospect for the Wolverines as well. Harrison does have to replace quarterback Tommy Vento (a preferred walk-on at Michigan State), but if they can find a signal-caller, the other pieces are in place for a deep run.

I should catch quite a few Harrison games, and their season-opener against Cass Tech is a must-see for Michigan fans, as Royce Jenkins-Stone and Terry Richardson will be suiting up across the field. That game is August 27th at 8PM in Eastern Michigan's Rynearson Stadium.

Cass Technical School

Detroit, MI

Detroit Cass Tech 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-27 8PM FH Harrison (@EMU)
9-2 3PM @ Detroit Central
9-9 4PM @ Det Southeastern
9-16 4PM Detroit Cody
9-23 6PM Detroit King
9-30 6PM Crockett (@Det Osborn)
10-7 4PM Detroit Mumford
10-13 4PM TBD
10-20 4PM TBD

Royce Jenkins-Stone
HS Position: Fullback/Linebacker
Projects as: Middle Linebacker

Terry Richardson
HS Position: Slot Receiver/Cornerback
Projects as: Cornerback

The Cass Tech Technicians (We're from Tech!) had enormous success last season for a city league team, falling in the State Semifinal game on a final-minute turnover to eventual champion Lake Orion. Tech sent four players to FBS teams following the season, including Michigan freshman CB Delonte Hollowell (Illinois, Toledo and W. Mich got the others). Royce rushed for 10 touchdowns, and added 90 tackles and five sacks on the other side of the ball, and Terry finished with 35 tackles and 12 interceptions, plus 12 receptions for 400ish(!) yards and five touchdowns.

Despite losing plenty of talent, Tech looks to reload with Terry and Royce as the leaders. Royce's fellow linebackers Ruben Lile and Laron Taylor both have multiple Big Ten  offers, and DT Darryl Goldsmith is hearing from the MAC. There's talent in the 2013 class as well. The schedule sets up nicely, with the showcase game against Harrison leading into several Detroit teams whom Tech has dominated over the past couple years.

Aside from the season opener against Harrison, I should be able to make it to a couple more Tech games, many of which are conveniently scheduled during the day. The final two games are tentatively scheduled for Thursdays, which could mean more chances to check them out. [Ed-M: Bonus reason to go to a Tech game: their fan cheer is "Go Cass; Kick Ass!"]

Detroit Catholic Central

Novi, MI

MattGodin-action.jpg

Detroit Catholic Central 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM @ Dearborn Fordson
9-2 7:30PM @ Delphos (OH) St. John's
9-9 7PM Inkster
9-16 7PM Highland Park
9-24 7PM De La Salle (@Lake Shore)
10-2 1PM UD Jesuit
10-8 7PM Brother Rice
10-15 7PM Orchard Lake St. Mary's
10-22 4PM Prep Bowl (@Ford Field)

Matt Godin
HS Position: Defensive End
Projects as: Defensive End/Tackle

Last year, the Shamrocks saw plenty of success, but lost in the State Quarterfinals to current Michigan freshman Brennen Beyer and his eventual runner-up Plymouth Wildcats. They closed out the season 9-3. Matt capped off a 66-tackle (28 for loss), campaign with All-Catholic Honors.

Catholic Central looks to rebound from a down year in 2010 (seriously, 9-3 is a down year) with a return to the state finals - they won the State Championship in 2009. Along with Godin, tight end Matt Doneth is a BCS prospect as a senior, and 2013 RB/DE Wyatt Shallman should be one of the top prospects in next year's in-state crop.

With Michigan's heavy recruiting of the Catholic League this year (James Ross attends Orchard Lake St. Mary's, and 2013 QB Commit Shane Morris goes to Warren De La Salle), I should be able to make it out to at least a couple of Godin's games.

St. Mary's Preparatory

Orchard Lake, MI

jamesross.jpeg

Orchard Lake St. Mary's 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 4:30PM GR West Catholic
9-2 7PM Toledo (OH) St. John's
9-9 7PM Highland Park
9-16 7PM UD Jesuit (@Ferndale)
9-23 7:30PM Columbus (OH) DeSales
9-30 7PM Brother Rice
10-7 7PM Warren De La Salle
10-15 7PM @ Det Catholic Central
10-22 7PM Prep Bowl (@Ford Field)

James Ross
HS Position: Fullback/Linebacker
Projects as: Linebacker

Last year, St. Mary's reached the State Championship game, but fell to rival East Grand Rapids (as the Eaglets so often do in various sports) on a goal line stand in the fourth quarter. The only other losses in the 11-3 campaign for St. Mary's came to another rival in Birmingham Brother Rice (once in the regular season, once in the Prep Bowl). James finished his junior season with 103 tackles, five sacks, five forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, and an interception last year.

This year, the Eaglets have to replace a Penn State-bound WR Allen Robinson, along with their starting quarterback Mike Koenigsknecht. The onus will fall on the run game and defense to bring the Eaglets back to the playoffs.

I should be able to make at least a couple OLSM games this fall, particularly when they take on other Michigan prospects.

Rockford High School

Rockford, MI

bradenaction.jpg

Rockford 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-25 7PM @ Lowell
9-1 7PM Holt
9-9 7PM Grand Haven
9-16 7PM Holland West Ottawa
9-23 7PM Muskegon
9-30 7PM East Kentwood
10-7 7PM Grandville
10-14 7PM Hudsonville
10-21 7PM @ Jenison

Ben Braden
HS Position: Offensive Tackle
Projects as: Offensive Tackle

The Rams are a traditional football power in the State of Michigan, so only reaching the semifinals last year (they bowed out to Brennen Beyer's Plymouth team) was a disappointment. The 11-3 seaosn also included road losses to Howell and Canton in the regular season. Braden is an offensive lineman, so his didn't accrue any stats.

Expect a disappointing 2010 season to fuel a deep run for Rockford this year, led by Braden up front. His other bookend, Parker Ehinger, is off to Cincinnati this year, so the Rams need another big lineman to step up in their run-heavy attack. There has been a lot of talk this summer about how Braden impressed on the camp circuit, so a strong senior year could help him move into four-star range to the recruiting services.

Rockford [shows hand, points at left side of palm] is positioned across the state from most of Michigan's other commits (and, you know, Michigan itself), so it'll be rare that I get to take in one of Braden's regular-season games. However, Rockford should make a deep run into the playoffs, and I'll hopefully get to catch a couple there.

De La Salle Collegiate

Warren, MI

shanethrowin.jpeg

De La Salle 2011
Date Time Opponent
8-26 7PM AA Pioner (@Lake Shore)
9-2 7PM Carman-Ainsworth (@Lake Shore)
9-9 7PM @ Dearborn Fordson
9-18 2:30PM @ Brother Rice
9-24 7PM Catholic Central (@Lake Shore)
9-30 7PM Inkster (@Lake Shore)
10-7 7PM @ Orchard Lake St. Mary's
10-14 7PM UD Jesuit (@Lake Shore)
10-21 7PM Prep Bowl (@ Ford Field)

Shane Morris (2013)
HS Position: Quarterback
Projects as: Quarterback

De La Salle has not been a power in the Catholic League, but they put together a good 2010 season, reaching the State Quarterfinals, where they fell to eventual champion Farmington Hills Harrison. The other losses in a 9-3 season for the Pilots came to another pair of Michigan commits in Detroit Catholic Central's Matt Godin and Orchard Lake St Mary's linebacker James Ross. Morris completed 102 of 180 passes for 1,150 yards, to go along with 14 touchdowns and just 2 picks last season.

De La Salle should be about the same this year as they were last year, but with another year of experience for their star QB, they'll look to get over the next hump. With a very strong junior season, Shane can make an early argument for 5-star status in the 2013 class.

Since he won't be hitting campus for another couple years, I'm not prioritizing Morris's games as highly as the other prospects. I plan to be in attendance (when possible) for a couple contests against 2012 Michigan commits.

Any corrections to the schedules posted here are welcome. If you attend any commit's game, feel free to e-mail me notes, stats, photos, etc. to Tim@mgoblog.com.

Wednesday Recruitin' Sleeps in a Tent

Wednesday Recruitin' Sleeps in a Tent

Submitted by Tim on June 22nd, 2011 at 10:36 AM

That's the type of camp we're talking about, right?

Camps, Visits

It's summer camp season across the country, with the Sound Mind Sound Body taking place in Southfield last week (and affording IL OL Jordan Diamond an opportunity to stop in Ann Arbor ($, info in header)). The Incredible Hoke was amongst the speakers.

Michigan's camp started Sunday, and runs until this upcoming weekend. The Free Press runs down Michigan's ongoing summer camp, including tidbits that FL QB Tyler Cameron plans to attend (and hopefully earn an offer), and OH QB Austin Appleby is in the same position.

OH RB Alden Hill camped at Michigan ($, info in header). He's a teammate of 2013 OH RB/S Dymonte Thomas, and might be getting an offer soon.

MI TE Ron Thompson may visit Michigan this week. He and the coaches may get a chance to discuss whether there's still a place for him in the recruiting class.

MI DT Danny O'Brien performed well at camp ($, info in header), and has plans to return to Ann Arbor soon. He'll narrow his list to a top 5 in July, and plans to make a post-season decision.

Tom has a big list of camp visitors of interest.

Last Train out of Columbus

First, OH DE Tom Strobel committed to Michigan a week ago, then Kyle Dodson to Wisconsin, and finally Se'Von Pittman to Michigan State this week (after rumors he had tried to commit to Michigan's coaches a week ago). All three players were heavy Buckeye leans until Jim Tressel resigned.

bingo.gif

Did something happen at Ohio State? Because they're sure hemorrhaging commits (and presumed locks to commit) lately. The AP explores the positive effects for Michigan of Ohio State's little difficulty following the rules:

"When I filled out Strobel's evaluation card after talking to [Tom Strobel], I wrote down, '95 percent going to Ohio State,'" CBS College Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said. "I thought he was a lock and I thought the Top 10 recruits in Ohio would all end up going to Ohio State. But now, with Tressel gone and so much uncertainty hanging over the program, I'm not so sure."

"There's no doubt he's going after Ohio kids," Strobel said, "and I think he's going to be able to get a few."

The article mentions that Michigan is in very good position for OH DE Adolphus Washington, teammate of WR Dwayne Stanford. Even Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald is seeing openings with high-academic kids (he can't say names, but that's secret code for "Ifeadi Odenigbo").

Now, OH OL Kyle Kalis has officially decommitted from Ohio State, and (more interesting to us) is planning to visit Ann Arbor this weekend:

It's pretty much for the past few months I've become really good friends with Tom Strobel and he said I would love it up there, he fell in love with it. Tom was up there last weekend and he was talking about me with the coaches, they were joking around saying we could be roommates. I think Chris [Wormley] will be up there too [TomVH: I confirmed with Wormley that he is visiting this weekend]. I'm closer with Tom, but I am friends with Chris.

This would be a huge recruiting win if Michigan's coaches could lock him down, and it would allow them to be very selective about other linemen for the class. With Chris Wormley visiting as well, and inching toward a decision, the turmoil in Columbus might help swing him Blue sooner rather than later (fingers crossed).

The OZone's Tony Gerdeman says that he expects another 5-star Buckeye to decommit this week. OH RB Bri'Onte Dunn is the only player who fits that bill, and has expressed Michigan interest despite his OSU commitment. Duane Long is having a panic attack about the coaching situation's effect on recruiting.

Etc.

OH WR Dwayne Stanford planned to travel to Ann Arbor this weekend, but had to cancel the visit (though he's now trying to get up with his teammate, DE Adolphus Washington, in the next two weeks).

OH S Jarrod Wilson sat down with his coaches last week, and again on Monday. They're trying to decide whether Jarrod is ready to make his school choice between Michigan, Penn state, and Notre Dame. The next meeting takes place on Friday.

MO DT Ondre Pipkins sounds pretty high on Michigan as he tells Tom that he'll be back to Ann Arbor in late July. As he told Scout on Father's Day:

The process might end a little sooner than I expected. I can't wait to get up to Michigan to visit.

That certainly sounds promising.

MI CB LEVITICUS PAYNE(!!!) is still showing interest in Michigan. [Ed: With Standifer and Richardson in the class, the Payne train has likely... uh... sailed. Alas.]

Michigan is seeking at least a couple more offensive linemen in this class, an TN OL Blake Bars could be one of them. Tom talked to him about the process:

My top schools are probably Penn State, Florida, Vanderbilt, LSU, and Michigan. There are some other schools I would maybe want to consider, but that's my top group right now. We're focusing on visiting the top schools right now, and we really wanted to visit Michigan.

That was over the weekend, so no word on how it went, though if he's now closing in on a decision ($, info in header), hopefully well.

AZ OL Andrus Peat is one of the nation's top prospects, and he talked to Tom about his recent Ann Arbor visit:

I was really impressed with everything. I could definitely see myself playing there. I don't know when I'll make my decision, just whenever I feel right. I will probably take official visits and then decide after my senior season.

He plans to cut his list down to 5-8 schools now that he's visited some of his top options.

Michigan recently offered big GA WR Jason Croom, and Tom talked to his mother about the recruiting process:

From a parent stand point this is home, from an academic stand point it's great, and distance wouldn't matter because he would be surrounded by family. It's convenient. One of the [Michigan] coaches actually grew up in the same neighborhood as me and we didn't know it.

With family in metro Detroit, Croom is planning to visit Ann Arbor later this summer. HOWEVA, Croom claims that he'll only play in the SEC, so don't get your hopes up.

Friday Night Lights

In promoting the Big Day Prep Showdown (more about this event as Friday Night Lights approaches), MI CB Commit Terry Richardson talks about why he picked Michigan, and how he's preparing for his senior year.

They'll be opponents for this game, but teammates at the next level, and MI TE Commit Devin Funchess reps his future colors in the same video series:

He says he'll play both at the end of the line and split out in college, confirming the H-back hypotheses that people have raised on his position at Michigan. He played well at Eastern's 7-on-7:

He's long, lean, and runs good routes. We knew he could go up and get it, but what he did here that we hadn't seen as much, was display run after the catch ability. He caught a short out, turned upfield and out ran an entire defense on one touchdown. He'll have weight to add to become an effective tight end, but he's a matchup problem waiting to happen.

Definite tweener at this point. His teammate, MI WR Aaron Burbridge, doesn't give a whole lot of insight on the recruiting process, but does list Michigan first among his offers, for what it's worth. Burbridge impressed at EMU's 7-on-7:

In the championship game, we saw him catch five touchdowns in almost as many possessions, showing great explosiveness and outstanding ball skills. One of the scoring grabs was a wheel route he ran from the backfield and he was doubled on the play, but went up over two defenders to make the grab. He also had a great day at corner, intercepting several passes and breaking up many others. He is without a doubt, an elite talent.

Get those grades in order, my guy.

Also in the realm of the committed, but going one class into the past, the Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 Showdown happened over the weekend, and the Michigan East-West All-Star game takes place this weekend at Central Michigan. They'll get recapped in the final Friday Night Lights feature for 2011. Then I'll start looking forward to the 2012 class's senior year soon.

Happy Trails

NY QB Chad Kelly, who had yet to receive a Michigan offer, committed to Clemson.

NC OL DJ Humphries is down to 5 non-Michigan schools.

TX OL Trey Keenan committed to Texas Tech.

OH DE Se'Von Pittman committed to Michigan State. There was a rumor that he had tried to commit to Michigan a couple weeks back, but told by the coaches to work on his academics before they'd accept a commitment.

NJ S Brandon Napoleon, who had shown some interest in Michigan, but didn't have an offer, committed to West Virginia.

2013

elmerworkout.jpeg

Michigan's summer camp is a good opportunity for the coaches to get to know some underclassmen, and decide which to offer. One of those guys who recently received an offer was MI OL Steven Elmer, the subject of last week's Sam Webb recruiting column:

"While it is early, I see Elmer and Shane Morris battling it out for the top spot in the state for the class of 2013. Right now, because I've seen more of Morris and he has performed well at national settings, he has the edge. However, Elmer's athletic gifts definitely give him a shot to unseat the Warren DeLaSalle quarterback."

Trieu talked about the skills that make Elmer such a special prospect:

"Steve Elmer stands out on tape," said Scout.com Midwest regional manager Allen Trieu. "He has fantastic size at 6-6 and 297 pounds, and has the type of athleticism, knee bend, and general coordination colleges look for in a prospect. He gets off the ball well, plays with good pad level, and appears to be a strong kid already. I'd like to see him finish blocks stronger and maybe play a little meaner, but as far as physical tools go, he has the goods."

Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Notre Dame seem to be the top competition early in the process. Elmer is open to making an early decision if he finds the right place for him, and Tom talked to his dad about their thoughts on Ann Arbor.

A good performance at Michigan's camp netted an offer for OH LB Ben Gedeon (#, info in header).

Michigan has offered GA CB Shaq Wiggins, and he told Tom that he'd like to visit again soon. Wiggins is planning to make an early decision.

MI RB Wyatt Shallman recently stopped in Ann Arbor for a quick camp visit (though he did not work out).

CO OL Chris Fox impressed at Michigan camp, and may receive an offer soon.

Wednesday Recruitin' is Split in Two

Wednesday Recruitin' is Split in Two

Submitted by Tim on May 11th, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Since commitments are coming in pairs, Wednesday Recruitin' will make the revolutionary change of also coming in pairs this week. Today: The most recent Wolverine commits, and a look at who might be next.

Mario Ojemudia and Pharaoh Brown Go Blue

The creepy tendency to pick up commitments in twos continues, as defensive ends from Michigan and Ohio committed back-to-back on Friday. First up was MI DE Mario Ojemudia. Local commitment article. GBMW on Mario:

Mario plays with great effort and intensity and is always moving and hustling. Mario has very good quickness and his feet are always moving. He shows good lateral movement with good burst and closing speed. What makes him special is a dynamite first step and an explosive get off.

The Wolverine Blog:

Some plays he bursts off the line, gets great leverage, and makes a huge play for the FHH defense. During other plays, he relies completely on his speed and athleticism to beat the O-linemen. That’s fine in high school, it won’t translate to the bigger leagues. That being said, just like Royce Jenkins-Stone, I love Mario’s fiery, competitive spirit. He gets really excited when he blows a play up, and that intensity is clearly infectious.

For more on Ojemudia, check out the Hello: Mario Ojemudia post. Within minutes, OH DE Pharaoh Brown's commitment was public as well. The Wolverine Blog on Brown:

While there’s a lot to love, there’s always room to grow, as well. There’s not a single play in his highlight video where he bullrushes the tackle, or uses his strength to get to the QB. Sometime he plays too high coming off the ball. When you’re 6’6, you can’t afford to give up leverage. His tackling technique needs a little work. All in all, I’m very excited to watch Brown’s future play out.

Magnus on Pharaoh:

Brown is long and lean with good change-of-direction skills and the ability to explode into passers. He runs very well (my guess is he would be in the 4.6-4.7 range, since I haven't found any 40 times for him) and should be able to pressure the width of the pocket based solely on his speed.

He's been getting some grief for his Michigan commitment. For more on Pharaoh, check out the Hello: Pharaoh Brown post.

The coaches of both commits complimented the recruiting done by Brady Hoke's staff. Tom Luginbill does the same, specifically pointing to the defensive commits.

Also a Sophomore

shanethrowin.jpegMI QB Shane Morris broke the seal on the class of 2013(!) last night, picking the Wolverines over - you guessed it - Michigan State. Check out Hello From the Future: Shane Morris for more details on his game.

The Detroit News also (briefly) covered his commitment. Magnus on Shane:

He looks like a very mature passer. He doesn't panic in the pocket, he goes through his read progressions, etc. Obviously, only highlights are available, but the thing that sticks out to me most is the touch and accuracy he puts on the ball. When a ball need to gets to a receiver in a hurry, he rifles it in there. When he knows he can put some air under a throw, he lays it out there for the receiver to go get it. That's somewhat rare in a young passer, many of whom want to throw the ball 100 mph every time. In that respect, Morris might be even more advanced than freshman Chad Henne or sophomore Denard Robinson.

That's some seriously high praise. Welcome to the fold, young man.

Up Next?

MI DE/DT Matt Godin is the only prospect with a definite commitment planned: He will announce tomorrow at his school from a final list of Michigan (the childhood favorite and current chalk), Michigan State, and Wisconsin. The Flint Journal recently profiled Godin:

“This is what I wanted,” he said of the attention and tedious decision-making processes that accompany his recruitment. “It was my goal to be a top prospect. That’s why I worked hard in the weight room. It’s tough (handling the situation), but it’s what I wanted.”

Conventional wisdom has Godin picking Michigan, but we'll wait and see with everyone else.

MI CB Terry Richardson might be next to commit, as he's moving closer to a decision ($, info in header), and asource told Tom that an announcement could be coming next week, although this tweet was apparently a joke. Either way, Michigan would be in strong position with commitments from his friends Royce Jenkins-Stone and James Ross, whether he draws out his recruitment or not.

Michigan's picking up commitments from TE Devin Funchess and DE Mario Ojemudia could really help Michigan land their teammate, WR Aaron Burbridge. Burbridge, one of the top wideouts in the midwest, has offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame, but also has reported academic issues that may make it difficult for him to go directly to a 4-year university out of high school.

As for Burbridge's recruitment, he may be close to a decision, and the Wolverines are suddenly right in the thick of things, along with Michigan State, as Michigan "surges" up his list ($, info in header). Tom had the following to say (prior to Mario Pjemudia's commitment, no less):

I will also say that anyone that says Aaron Burbridge is an MSU lock doesn't know what they're talking about. I was told quite a bit this weekend about Mario and Aaron, and if Mario chooses Michigan [ed: Check!] then there's a chance Aaron would follow. He does have grade issues, but I don't think it's bad enough to where Michigan wouldn't take him and hope he makes it. I don't want to say too much, obviously, but there's a chance Michigan could steal those two from MSU.

That doesn't sound bad for Michigan in the least, considering Funchess and Ojemudia are now recruiting Burbridge. A further update:

I spoke with him today and he told me that his final two are Michigan and Michigan State. Those are the two schools he will be deciding between. He also said that he'll be scheduling a visit back up to Michigan in the next two weeks. He's more familiar with MSU because he's been there more, so he's trying to make up for that by visiting Michigan again.

Sounds like Michigan is right in the thick of things. Aaron also told Tom that he's working hard on his grades in order to qualify.

MI TE Ron Thompson seems forever teetering on the verge of a decision. Most expect that if the Wolverines still have room for another tight end, he'll be Blue.

IL CB Anthony Standifer picked up a Michigan offer last week ($, info in header), was planning to visit this Thursday:

I have very very strong interest in Michigan. Me and my mom and dad are going to sit down and figure everything out, but I'll be visiting on Thursday [May 12th]. I was just excited and at a loss for words when they offered. I feel very thankful and appreciative for the offer. Michigan is at the top of my list.

That sounded like he may have been close to a commitment, right? HOWEVA, he had to reschedule that visit, and Notre Dame, Illinois, and Cincy have suddenly offered (events unrelated). That's made him reconsider an early commitment, and he'll take his time.

Josh Helmholdt runs down some of this guys committing soon, including Godin and Thompson (and, uh, Ojemudia).

Rankin's

Rivals has finally released their initial set of rankings, and current Michigan commits ring in as follows:

  • MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone. #87 Overall.
  • MI LB James Ross. #143 Overall.
  • OH LB Joe Bolden. #167 Overall.

The other guys who may be making decisions soon:

  • MI WR Aaron Burbridge. #134 Overall.
  • MI CB Terry Richardson. #195 Overall.

For a list of which other Rivals250 prospects are still considering Michigan, check out Tom's Diary.

Come back tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion of this week's recruiting post!